Memphis, TN -According to FOX 13:
“The Memphis Police Department has arrested 31-year-old Marcus Donald for bringing multiple weapons into Bellevue Baptist Church on Sunday morning.
MPD said Donald brought “a loaded 40 caliber Beretta in the pocket of his pants and a 300 Blackout Assault Rifle in a backpack” during the 11 a.m. Easter Sunday service.
Donald told police “people in society are a threat to him and that he must be vigilant.”
“We are thankful for the diligence of (our) security and the Memphis Police Department,” Jim Barnwell, Bellevue Baptist Church, Director of Communication Services, said.
Barnwell said an estimated 4,500 people were at the church at the time the armed man with two guns and extra ammo entered the church campus.
Donald was arrested for emergency commitment and is currently being evaluated by police.
According the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) at the University of Memphis, being arrested for Emergency Commitment means “the only time a mentally ill person can be taken into custody solely for being mentally.”
After Donald was arrested, FOX13 went the suspect’s last known address, but the woman at the house declined comment.
Neighbors near his last known address, who did not want to go on camera, told FOX13 Donald does live in the area.
FOX13 spoke with another large church in Memphis how they handle guns in their church and about the importance of armed security in churches.
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church chief operating officer Rev. Anthony Self said armed security in churches are necessary.
“In years past, it would have been optional to have church security,” Rev. Self said. “Now it’s becoming mandatory because everybody that comes through the door doesn’t have the best intent.”
It is important church security detected the man and actually disarmed him. According to reports, it was not a violent incident, and he gave up his arms willingly.